Year of birth: 1956
Year started playing pool: 1982 (after local pub Murray Potters opened upstairs pool lounge with three tables.)
Current team: The Hustlers
Stevie Kelly (shown on the left in the opposite picture) has done it all in pool. Stevie founded the East Kilbride Pool League in 1982 with the first matches taking place in 1983 and has been involved with pool at all levels. After years of dedication and hard work, he had the honour of managing the Scotland international team, along side holding many other high positions in multiple leagues.
Although primarily functioning in management and administration positions, Stevie is also a more than capable player winning the first ever East Kilbride singles tournament back shortly after the league began.
Stevie is the current EKPL general secretary, and dedicates a lot of his time and effort into running the league, and keeping the league ticking over as smoothly as it has been over the last years under his reign.
These days he is captain of the Hustlers who won the league for a record 5th time last year, and hope to retain the title, which would be for a record third straight time also.
Founded East Kilbride Pool League
Elected General Secretary East Kilbride Pool League
Elected EKPL Representative on the General Committee of Lanarkshire Pool Council
Elected EK Superleague manager
Elected Treasurer of Lanarkshire Pool Council
Elected Lanarkshire Area Representative on the General Committee of The Scottish National Pool Council
Elected Secretary/Treasurer of Lanarkshire Pool Council
Elected Chairman Lanarkshire Pool Council
Elected General Secretary Avondale & District Pool League
Elected Lanarkshire Select manager
Elected Chairman Avondale & District Pool League
Elected assistant manager to Ross McInnes, Scottish International Pool Team manager
Elected Scottish International Pool Team manager
In 1991 after being appointed Scottish Professional Pool Players’ Organisation General Secretary, I still held the following positions:
Scottish International Pool Team manager
Lanarkshire Select Pool Team manager
Chairman Lanarkshire Pool Council
Chairman Avondale & District Pool League
General Secretary East Kilbride Pool League
East Kilbride Superleague manager
Potters Hillhouse Pool Team captain
Honours in singles competition
Won inaugural East Kilbride Singles Pool Championship at Murray Potters after defeating EKPL Chairman and Whitehills Farm ‘A’ team captain Harry Marshall in the final. Although I continued to enter occasional tournaments, I gained most of my experience in pool as an Administrator.
Aspirations for the current season:
Hoping for a top two in the EKPL this season although second is nowhere as far as I am concerned.
Greatest pool achievement with a team:
Best pool achievement was undoubtedly beating the British 7 Man Team champions Potters Hillhouse 6-1 on their own table in the final of the Lanarkshire Super Cup in 1990.
Honours in team competition
Current Team is East Kilbride Pool League Champions The Hustlers who were winning The EKPL for a record fifth time last season, although I have also won The EKPL with The Murray Breaker Pool Team, Whitehills Teachers 60, Whitehills Farm (2), Black Bob’s, Hotshots, Kelvin Kabs (2) and Mr Q’s.
Won the first ever Robert Black trophy with The Hustlers, beating The Hawks 7-4 in the final at the Westwood. We have won it three times since.
The equivalent of The Robert Black and The League Cup in the 1980’s was The Whitehills Challenge Trophy (3 wins), Greenhills Summer Trophy (2), SMT Doubles Team Trophy, and Murray Potters Trophy (2).
Won Superleague in 1986 at Blantyre Vics when Billy Rodger (EK) defeated Harry Marshall (Bellshill) in final frame of match for a 6-5 victory.
Won Superleague in 1990 at Potters Hillhouse beating multiple previous winners Motherwell in final.
Won Lanarkshire Super Cup in same year, same venue, defeating Potters Hillhouse 6-1 on their home patch one week after they had won the British 7 man team event.
Who, or what, inspired you to play?:
I was asked by the manager of Murray Potters in 1982 if I was interested in running pool tournaments as he was impressed with my organisational skills.
Favourite EK team you have played in?:
Favourite EK team you haven’t played in?:
Best player you have ever played against?:
In 1986 at The Metropole Hotel, St Helier, Jersey UK Professional number 1 David Linton in a best of 25 frame challenge where I had 11 frames of a start. It was played in front of all the ‘names’ at the time, including ‘Maltese Joe’ Barbara, Andy ‘The Greek’ Loppas, David ‘Jelly Baby’ Holt, Keith Brewer, Tommy Donlan, Pat ‘The Chat’ O’Kane, Lee Tucker, and Eric ‘The Crafty Cockney’ Bristow – a more than capable pool player who is better known for his darts exploits.
Davie and I were there for the Jersey Open, the best pool tournament ever in my mind, and Davie was the reigning champion. We had commandeered the hotel pool table for our ‘challenge’ and the
‘names’ kept drifting in at intervals during the latter stages of our match. When they noticed it was not ‘winner stays on’ questions started being asked such as ‘What’s it up to?’, ‘Whose winning?’ – ‘How much are they playing for?’
Word spread that I was 11 – 8 ahead, totally unaware that the money involved was just two quid! However, when I was finally defeated ’13-11′, word quickly spread that I had bottled it at 11-8 in front. Of course this was not the case as the eleven frames that I ‘led’ with was my start.
Davie was the one player at the time who had the beating of most players irrespective of their tactics. He also won the East Kilbride Singles in a canter both years that he entered.
In Dave’s first year in pool, he won the Scottish Singles, after thinking he had entered a pub tourney in Edinburgh! The tourney was a Scottish Qualifier.
In that amazing fifteen months he also captured the UK Professional Pool Players Championship beating short priced favourite ‘Maltese Joe’ Barbara live on ITV’s World of Sport. Add to these, the Gretna Open; Jersey Open; and the Borders TV Classic when he defeated England’s Howard Miller 6-1 in the televised final after gifting his opponent a frame because the programme was scheduled for an hour. Also, the Fast Eddies Pro-Am; the Annan Singles and of the EK Singles.
Best player you have played alongside?:
David Linton, who remained UK professional number 1 for over a year after he quit pool because of the unassailable lead he held at the head of the rankings. Dave represented Whitehills Farm and East Kilbride for three years and was easily the best pool player that I have ever seen or are ever likely to see.
Favourite pro players (Pool or Snooker):
- Pat Holtz – I have known Pat as a friend for over twenty three years, and used to visit his house opposite Potters Hillhouse on a Tuesday evening on the way home from work at Council Headquarters in Hamilton. We had a few frames on Pat’s own table before being collected in a Kelvin Kab and driven to wherever our team Whitehills Farm was playing. Pat was a successful product of Allan Falconer’s youth pool policy and today is the ultimate professional…and a genuinely nice guy!
- Ross McInnes – Ross used to be a regular visitor to east Kilbride in the 1980’s and attended the first ever EK Pool cup final at Whitehills Farm in October 1983 after giving Murray Potters ‘B’ a hitabout at The Murray before their final with eventual champions Whitehills Farm ‘A’. It was an honour being recommended to the Scottish National Pool Council by Ross for the position of Assistant Manager of the Scottish International Pool Team in 1989. Tragic personal circumstances led to Ross standing down the following year and allowing me the privilege to manage the Scotland team. Ross has done more to promote pool in Scotland than anyone but is a sensitive soul under that hard exterior. A class act!
- David Linton – The ultimate professional! This guy was the actual one frame of a start in any team match we played in or outside East Kilbride. Ross at his peak in the 1980’s was easily the best I had ever seen until Dave came along and hoisted pool to a new level. Fellow professionals hadn’t a clue how to play him because he was the perfect pool player with balls of steel. Whether he was playing a bounce game in the Whitehills Farm or lining up the match ball in the final of a televised tournament, pressure never caused him to miss a pot. Awesome!
How would you rate the current standard of pool in EK?
I don’t think I know that the standard of pool in East Kilbride is far superior to what it ever was before. Arthur Russo’s all round play, Colin Philip’s potting ability, Lee Miller’s luck…but when The Guv’nor can give them all a run for their money through sheer practise…it highlights that our top players are lagging behind other areas when Billy comes up short in tourneys outside East Kilbride.
What do you think we could do to raise the standard?
The only way to improve your standard of pool (not to be confused with potting which can be practised anywhere….anytime) is to enter and qualify for the Individual Membership and Scottish Singles events. Hotel events used to be the best breeding ground for an up and coming player in the 80’s and 90’s. At the Jersey Festival you breathed pool for a week and needed a holiday when you returned home. I hear the Isle of Man Festival is similar on a lesser scale. Lesser players will of course improve playing within East Kilbride but unless you are prepared to play in events outwith EK your experience will be severely limited.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Having been involved in pool for nearly thirty years and made many friends throughout the country during this time who I still meet at events…Mick McGoldrick, Alex Lynn, Davie Forrest, John MacFarlane (former EK Champion played with Kelvin Kabs), Gerry Quigley, Bert McAdam (played with EK League Champions SMT Club in the 1980’s and finished runner-up to Jim O’Hara in POTY), Campbell Crawford (member of the 1990 Superleague Winners (EK) and Lanarkshire Champions (Whitehills Farm).Players should remember that there is more to life than pool.
In the 1980’s I was involved in just about every aspect of pool at every level. Whether it was running the weekly Whitehills Farm tournament, organising £1,000 pro-Ams in Whitehills, international Scotland trials at Whitehills, disappearing for a week to Jersey, a weekend to Blackpool for the BAPTO, Aberdeen, Falkirk, Ayr, Greenock, Gourock, Reighton sands, Gretna , Carlisle, Skegness.
My reward for all of my dedication was a divorce. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t bother me at the time and it still doesn’t – but it should have done. I will not make the same mistake again.